I missed the memo.

How do I get on the Talking Points of the Day mailing list? Because I’m obviously missing something.

Memeorandum notes that the indictment of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is national news. I was puzzled to notice all the blog reaction came from the right wing, and what do they rise as one to say?


My guess would be this: Because it’s so obvious the black mayor of a black city would be a Democrat, it isn’t even worth noting? Because Republicans don’t even put candidates on the mayoral ballot in Detroit? (Help me out here, Del, JohnC — was there a Republican on the November ballot in 2005? I can’t remember, mainly because the primary is the final battle for that office.) Because anyone who knows anything about Detroit other than “it’s where the Supremes came from” and “they make cars there” would know this? Because if there was some distant, outside, ghost of a chance that a black Republican might be running this city, he would be a regular commenter on Fox News by now? Take your pick.

I know they read different newspapers out there in the rest of the country, but come on, people — some knowledge truly is general. And that black cities in the rust belt have Democratic mayors, usually black Democrats, is right down at the duh level.

Posted at 3:12 pm in Current events, Detroit life, Metro mayhem |

35 responses to “I missed the memo.”

  1. Danny said on March 24, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Actually, this is just an echo of the story that was making the rounds with respect to the Spitzer coverage by ABC and NBC. Apparently it took them a couple of days to mention Spitzer’s political affiliation.

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  2. nancy said on March 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    A couple of days? I don’t think so. I heard about that in the first day, maybe in the first couple of hours.

    It’s interesting to watch the reaction, actually. So many people know nothing about this case, and are calling it a “sex scandal.” The sex, we are swiftly learning, is the very very least of it; at its root Ievel it’s about perjury and abuse of power. I suspect one reason Kilpatrick is fighting so hard is because he knows there’s a whole closet full of shoes on those text-messages still to drop, and any deal he can cut to keep them in the closet, he’ll take.

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  3. del said on March 24, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Yeah, Republicans are a nonissue in Wayne County MI politics. Understood by all. Think District of Columbia.

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  4. Danny said on March 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Yeah, like everyone knows, it’s always the coverup.

    BTW, Nance, the thought just occurred to me of how awesome it would be to see the words “BETHONGED SKANK” on a cable news channel’s crawler in reference to Kilpatrick’s girlfriend.

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  5. del said on March 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Lots of backstories on this one too. eg, gunned down stripper Tamara Green. DetNews did an article dismissive of conspiracy theories directed towards the Mayor’s people relating to her murder; Free Press took a very different position. Will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
    And party affiliation is most relevant when the crime involves something the politician railed against, like morals, “playing by the rules” etc.

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  6. alex said on March 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Looks like they’re scraping bottom for examples of liberal media bias these days.

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  7. brian stouder said on March 24, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Yeah, Republicans are a nonissue in Wayne County MI politics. Understood by all.

    There is a doctoral thesis waiting to be written, on the effects of single-party monopolies on political power (or maybe it has already been done).

    Allen County Indiana is Republican, Period. The D’s don’t run full slates…and even the R’s don’t always bother (they simply appoint candidates after the primary, who are assured of victory in November).

    But people naturally disagree, and over time, in a one-party environment, search for ways to express that, day to day. (and the judiciary part of government maybe gets an exaggerated role versus opponents)

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  8. Jolene said on March 24, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Watching the press conference, I couldn’t help but notice that Kwame Kilpatrick is a remarkably large man! Not that that’s either here nor there.

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  9. Danny said on March 24, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    There is a doctoral thesis waiting to be written, on the effects of single-party monopolies on political power (or maybe it has already been done).

    Another related thing that would be worth writing about is not the effects, but what sometimes happens before that and leads to some single-party monopolies. I mean the gerrymandering and the backroom deals between the parties that magically result in a large number of congressional districts (both federal and state) being “safe” for one party or the other.

    I suspect that this is done a good bit here in California. Hardly any congressional districts have real competitive races. It’s probably the same story elsewhere.

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  10. john c said on March 24, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    “It’s always just the cover-up.” I agree, Danny, that is generally true. In this case, though, there is a rather strong suggestion what they were covering up was a murder. Maybe two. So that may not apply here.
    What I have enjoyed pointing out to my Republican friends is this: The downfall of this liberal, Democratic, black as black son of a Democratic political hack Big City Mayor is …. the Detroit Free Press, aka, the Liberal Media. Hmm.

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  11. nancy said on March 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Kwame is 6’4″, a former college football player — a very large man, indeed. He’s also fond of these chalk-striped suits, wide-brimmed fedoras, etc., and every so often you’ll see some white racist refer to his “pimp” style. I wouldn’t classify it as such; it definitely has an urban feel to it, but it’s far more GQ than street. I’ll give him this: He’s far more interesting to look at than most urban politicians. Every mayor I can think of in all the cities I’ve lived in would blend into the woodwork on their best day. Not KK.

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  12. Kirk said on March 24, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Any story about any politician should name his party, and it’s standard procedure to do so. I find it hard to believe that major media outlets would not say that Kilpatrick is a Democrat, but if any failed to mention that, shame on them for not observing one of the fundamentals. I find it easy to believe that conspiracy theorists would believe that his party affiliation had been omitted based on what they heard third-hand.

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  13. Danny said on March 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    What I have enjoyed pointing out to my Republican friends is this: The downfall of this liberal, Democratic, black as black son of a Democratic political hack Big City Mayor is …. the Detroit Free Press, aka, the Liberal Media. Hmm.

    Yeah, John, there are definitely cases that don’t fit nicely into the “liberal-media-bias” conspiracy theory. And it probably cuts both ways with examples of liberal politicians not getting the benefit of the doubt and examples of conservative politicians getting the benefit of the doubt (even when they don’t deserve it).

    Probably the only way one could “prove” media bias in one direction or another would be a statistical analysis. I think Bernie Goldberg might have tried that, but I never read his book, so I can’t comment.

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  14. Harl Delos said on March 24, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Any story about any politician should name his party, and it’s standard procedure to do so.

    Yes, it’s routine, but I don’t know if it’s helpful. What party would you label Joe Lieberman with? He was always a Democrat, but he ran last time as an independent.

    Here in Pennsylvania, both Democrats and Republicans call Arlen Spector a Democrat, although he’s been a Republican for a couple of decades. He ran on the Democratic ticket for prosecutor in Philadelphia; ain’t no Republicans gonna win there. He’s always run as a Republican for the Senate. I don’t know whether he was calling himself a Republican or a Democrat when he dreamed up the “magic bullet” theory, working for the Warren Commission.

    John McCain publicly toyed with becoming a Democrat in 2001, and John Kerry offered him the chance to be his running mate in 2004.

    Bill said Hillary couldn’t win unless she won both Texas and Ohio, and Barack ended up winning Texas. Why doesn’t she throw in the towel, instead of doing what looks a lot like campaigning for McCain?

    There are a lot of rumors here in Pennsylvania. One is that she wants the GOP to win this fall, so she doesn’t have to run against a Democratic incumbent in 2012. A more interesting one, though, is that she expects to be named as McCain’s running mate.

    I don’t know about that; a rumor’s not worth much. Add a sawbuck these days, and you can buy a cup of coffee. But I do know, it seems to be getting harder and harder to tell whether someone is a Republocrat or a Demican.

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  15. alex said on March 24, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Harl, Hillary won Texas.

    Danny, I thought last week’s examples from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel about Bill Clinton’s visit were illustrative of media bias. (I think media bias is neither liberal nor conservative but rather, as Nance has pointed out before, driven largely by what sort of cranks are most likely to call and complain about the news when things aren’t going their way.) The overriding theme was how much Bill Clinton’s whistle stop was costing the taxpayer for votes his wife’s not going to get anyway.

    The white lower middle class majority around here are easily exercised about their miserable existence. Many buy into the chestnut that people who don’t work wretched jobs like they do are leading enormously enjoyable lives of drug-taking and debauchery and baby-making on the taxpayer’s dollar.

    I can see how the Kwame without the -D after his name crapola is going to go over big with rubes in places like this. Fox is banking on just the sort of people who know nothing of the world, who’ve seldom been outside their own county, let alone outside their own little sphere of ignorance, and wouldn’t know diddly about urban politics. All they know is the whole world’s supposed to be Republican and supposed to be Christian and anyone who deviates deserves no sympathy, only scorn.

    And where do they get it? Talk radio and cable TV. And from a newspaper in its death throes attempting to stay relevant.

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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 24, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Media bias, shmias. The problem is media illiteracy, which is equal opportunity. Either Columbus OH tv and print reporters are getting younger, callower, and less, um, illuminated (by which i don’t mean their lighting, which is perfect), or i’m about to qualify for my dad’s “Old Fart” hat.

    Honey, what’s this box you’re handing me? Full of tissue paper, and [rustle, rustle] . . . oh, a hat. You say — both? OK.

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  17. alex said on March 24, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I don’t know whether it’s the makeup or lighting, but here in the Fort the folks on the ABC affiliate always look like they have milk moustaches. Anyone else notice?

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  18. brian stouder said on March 24, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Anyone else notice?

    I only watch Channel 15’s local news, on principle (but it was a funny remark nonetheless!)

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  19. Harl Delos said on March 24, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Harl, Hillary won Texas.

    Last time I looked, Texas went Obama 99, Clinton 94. This is like golf, where low score wins?

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  20. del said on March 24, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Harl, Alex, as usual, is correct. Hillary won Texas.

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  21. Kafkaz said on March 24, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Texas has both a primary and a caucus. According to the most recent reports I’ve seen, the final delegate count for the state is still not certain, but it appears that Obama is likely to win by three or four delegates, even though Hillary took the popular vote.

    There! That’s my lukewarm stand for today: everybody’s right; everybody’s wrong.

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  22. Dexter said on March 24, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Interesting point. Of course no one should have to identify Mayor KK by a political badge. Being an Ohio resident, this topic reminded me of former Ohio Sec’y of State Ken Blackwell.
    When I contribute to a political blog that has global inputs , but focuses on US presidential politics, and I start typing my feelings on Blackwell’s impact on getting John F. Kerry defeated, I never have to mention that Ken Blackwell is a Republican.
    You are probably saying “what the hell has THAT go to do with it?”
    But to me, it’s just as obvious.
    If people are going to post and write stories about these topics, they should know Kilpatrick is a Democrat, and Blackwell is a Republican, and in these cases it is not necessary to ID them in print with senatorial-like badges.

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  23. Kafkaz said on March 25, 2008 at 12:02 am

    EEEEEKKKK! “Obama and Hillary”! I could have written “Barack and Hillary,” or “Obama and Clinton,” but instead the old brain went right for “Obama and Hillary.” Sigh. Not even “Hillary and Obama,” mind you, but the male’s last name, and then the female’s first name.

    Sometimes, I scare myself.

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  24. del said on March 25, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Kafkaz, you’re right. In my quick computer double checking I saw 100% precincts reporting and Clinton winning 51 to 47% (didn’t notice the caucus results below) . . .

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  25. brian stouder said on March 25, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Well, first, as a Hoosier, let may say to all our Buckeyes, Wolverines, and other non-Hoosiers – nyah nyah nyah!!! (see article below)

    As a Newly Self-Important, Consequential Primary Voter (like those damned Hawkeyes are, every four years), I can honestly report that, despite being an Obama man, I find this New York Times/Pinnochio scale to be bullshit…or more precisely, the television reaction (wall-to-wall, top of the broadcast treatment, this morning) is bullshit.

    Senator Clinton mis-spoke about her trip into Tusla a decade and a half ago – but not by much. She WAS in a dangerous environment, she did appear to have body armor on (beneath a long trenchcoat), and it certainly didn’t look as safe as one would like. She behaved with aplomb, and was presented with a poem by a little girl, and THIS is held against her (as if it proves how safe it was)….but they gave Jackie Kennedy a bouquet of flowers, and the motorcade she was in was met by cheers, before it took a turn, too.

    The national press, whether purposefully or slothfully, have cast their vote against her


    By Anne E. Kornblut
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, March 25, 2008; Page A04

    EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Something unusual appears to be developing in the Democratic presidential race in this state: a fair fight.

    Wedged between Illinois, which is Sen. Barack Obama’s home state, and Ohio, which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton dominated on March 4, Indiana may be the one state remaining on the primary calendar where both candidates begin with a roughly equal chance of coming out ahead. That fact alone makes it stand out from states such as Pennsylvania, where the playing field for the April 22 contest offers big advantages to Clinton (N.Y.), or the Oregon race a month later, which clearly tilts toward Obama.

    In Indiana, Obama has a home-field advantage, while Clinton has the backing of the popular Sen. Evan Bayh and may have an edge on the kind of economic issues that are likely to dominate the discussion before the state’s Democrats vote on May 6.

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  26. MichaelG said on March 25, 2008 at 8:32 am

    C’mon, Brian. I saw the clip of Senator Clinton (D, NY). relating her experiences. She told how they had to run from the plane amidst sniper fire, ducking as they headed for cover. Then I saw the clip of the actual event. This was no “oops”. This was a deliberate misstatement. Nobody tells accidental untruths about having been under hostile fire. I find this kind of effort to steal somebody else’s glory despicable. But then I never did like her. I don’t like her sense of entitlement; her belief that it’s her turn and I don’t like the dynastic aspect. If she were elected and served two terms it would mean 28 uninterrupted years of Bushes and Clintons. I don’t like her speaking style, I don’t like that she never seems to stand for anything but talks around every issue. I see no leadership whatsoever here. She’s had five years to speak out on the war and only speaks critically of the war now when it is safe to do so and only in the most general of terms. That’s hardly leadership. There have been, for over seven years, almost daily opportunities for a leader to speak out on the misdeeds of the Bush administration and I haven’t heard anything from Sen. Clinton (D, NY).. As far as I am concerned, she’s a hold over from the old impotent liberals of the ’80s and ’90s. She has nothing new to offer. She is a polarizing figure who brings a whole train of baggage, controversy and dislike to the dance. I think the international stage would have the same perception: Nothing new or different here, no break with the past, just another in a series of the same old same olds that the world has seen in the US for decades. Whew! There’s exaggeration, Brian. We all do that. But you don’t falsely claim combat experience. You just don’t do it. Besides, can anybody seriously imagine Air Force One (or whatever they call FLOTUS’ airplane) being allowed to land on a hot runway? It was a ferchirstssake photo-op, not an assault. All that said, if she were nominated, I would have to vote for her over Sen. McCain (R, AZ), but it would be a vote against Sen. McCain (R, AZ), not for Sen. Clinton (D, NY).

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  27. Harl Delos said on March 25, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Senator Clinton mis-spoke about her trip into Tusla a decade and a half ago

    Anyone with the courage to visit Oklahoma earns my admiration.

    What’s that?

    Oh. Never mind.

    Emily Litella

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  28. brian stouder said on March 25, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I think that Senator Clinton’s best defense is that when she wrote about it in her book, her account was correct; but when she spoke extemporaneously about it, she was found to be innaccurate.

    Anyone who is married, and who has been contradicted when discussing past events (for example, who spilled the mashed potatoes at the family reunion in ’93? Or, where were we headed, the time we saw a loose pig on the road? etc), and who THEN found out that they were FLATLY wrong in their recollection can identify with this.

    Just sayin’ – she DID serve her country, and if she wasn’t directly ‘in harm’s way’, she was certainly in harm’s ‘hood. I suppose it’s all in fun (the Pinnochios, and the ‘gotcha’ stuff); but I don’t like it when my man Obama is hit with this stuff, and I’m becoming more sympathetic to Clinton’s complaints about this sort of treatment

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  29. MichaelG said on March 25, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Misremembering who dropped the mashed potatoes is not the same thing as fabricating out of whole cloth a story about getting shot at. A statement of the sort that Mrs. Clinton made is not inadvertent. It is deliberate. Nobody would criticize her for not being a Marine Corps veteran. Nobody would expect her to be a vet. Nobody doubts that she has done service to her country. It’s the false claim to having been involved in hostile action that I find offensive and impossible to accept as a simple misrecollection. Noticing an egregious misstatement is not a “gotcha” and calling it that cheapens the idea of any critical discourse as does throwing up a whole smokescreen of other stuff that I supposedly might have said or thought or inferred. Besides, Brian, you brought it up. I merely responded. I realize that Mrs. Clinton has been a lifetime subject of the Republican slime machine and I’ve been outraged by that for years. I have no sympathy for her on this one. She owns it 100%. And yes, I voted for the Irish guy O’bama. You heard about his brother, Al, didn’t you?

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  30. brian stouder said on March 25, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Michael – just for the record, I most certainly apologize to you, if my previous comments conveyed the impression that I thought you were wrong, or the victim of deception, or whatever.

    A few weeks back I was quite put off with HRC’s too-cute answer as to whether Obama was a Muslim, so I can relate to your point of view on this issue, despite that (on Tuzla) our points of view differ.

    I was just venting

    (by the way – and not for nothing – I will add that back in the day, when I first made the happy discovery of NancyNall.com and began posting here, Ashley thought I was simply a troll….and really, depending on how tightly the term is defined, I suppose he was right!)

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 25, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Having spent some time in the peacetime, stateside USMCR, i’m used to the fact that people who have been shot at suffer from a certain amount of memory creep, military no less than civilian. But when a civilian, having heard shots not fired by a funeral honor guard, within their earshot, recounts later the “sniper fire” that had them sphinctering up, i’m just not bothered.

    Most of us know the guys and gals who never talk about it generally would have the most to say, but prefer not to. When they choose to share their story, we gather close and listen respectfully. But that doesn’t mean i disrespect Sen. Clinton for what may be a slightly amped recounting of her time near a fuzzy front.

    Plus, isn’t she running for office or something?

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  32. Harl Delos said on March 25, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    think that Senator Clinton’s best defense is that when she wrote about it in her book, her account was correct; but when she spoke extemporaneously about it, she was found to be innaccurate.

    There’s a story about one of the Hunt brothers. I’m quoting it very incorrectly, because it’s probably been 20 years since I read it, and I’ve forgotten, but I’m trying to get the spirit of it. Anyhow, at a cocktail party, Bunkie or Lamar, or whoever it was, said something like, “Well, it was $4 million, not $40 million, and it was puts, not calls, and it was sow bellies, not soybean oil, and it was lost, not made, and it was my brother, not me. But other than those few details, you’ve got the story down, pretty much smack dab correct.”

    So if she was confusing this trip with another in which she actually DID have to run from the plane in a crouch, because there was hot lead flying, then nobody should complain, but if she’s confusing herself with Indiana Jones, then she ought to think twice about padding her resume. As Abraham Lincoln apparently said – “No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.”

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  33. moe99 said on March 25, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Jeff MM: But the problem with Hillary’s recollection is that the video of her trip shows that there was NO sniper fire even in earshot.



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  34. alex said on March 25, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Aw c’mon. We forgave the Gipper for that big one about how he crawled ashore at Normandy on D-Day. (Or was that Peggy Noonan we forgave?)

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  35. Joe said on March 27, 2008 at 8:38 am

    More interesting is that if this mayor was a Republican you’d be all over his ass. It’s humorous to see someone who hates Republicans get all indignant about the fact that some Republicans hate Democrats. Pot…kettle.

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